Reid: 'I hope GOP leaders will reconsider their intransigence' in negotiations

After a morning meeting at the White House and an evening meeting at the Capitol, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he was "disappointed in the status of negotiations with my Republican colleagues."

Congressional leaders began negotiations amongst themselves and without President Obama on Saturday, after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he was discontinuing talks with the White House.

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Boehner and Reid, along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), met for or just under an hour in Boehner’s office late Saturday, trying to forge an agreement to slash government spending and raise the debt ceiling by the Aug. 2 deadline.

There were some signs of progress in the negotiations, and Boehner told House Republicans he hoped to have a plan ready by Sunday afternoon.

But Reid released a less-than-optimistic statement following the meeting.

“I have said repeatedly, including last night and again today, that I will not support any agreement that fails to raise the debt ceiling though the end of 2012," Reid said. "Anything less than that will fail to provide the certainty that the markets – and the world – are looking for, risking an immediate downgrade of America’s credit rating." 

"Their unwillingness to compromise is pushing us to the brink of a default on the full faith and credit of the United States," Reid said. "We have run out of time for politics. Now is the time for cooperation."

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel however flipped the blame back on the Democrats, noting that the Republican-controlled House had passed the GOP's "Cut, Cap and Balance" legislation last week, only to have Senate Democrats kill the bill.

Boehner (R-Ohio) said late Saturday that Congress will have to resort to a two-vote approach to raise the debt-ceiling and prevent a government default.

"The Democrats who run Washington have refused to offer a plan," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement. "Now, as a result, a two-step process is inevitable."

Pelosi said Saturday evening that she, too, backed “a long-term extension” of the $14.3 trillion debt limit.

"I hope that Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell will reconsider their intransigence," Reid said in his statement. "Their unwillingness to compromise is pushing us to the brink of a default on the full faith and credit of the United States. We have run out of time for politics. Now is the time for cooperation."

Russell Berman contributed.

This story was posted July 23 at 8:54 pm and has been updated.